Relay for Life raises nearly $59,000

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Longwood University’s Relay for Life drew hundreds from the university and the Heart of Virginia to remember those affected by cancer and to raise funds for a cure.

The event, which started Friday and continued until Saturday morning, had speakers, fundraisers, activities and chances for all participants, including those surviving cancer and caregivers, to walk laps at the Longwood Health and Fitness Center.

The theme, organized by students and staff, was When You Wish Upon a Cure, based on Walt Disney films.

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The relay raised nearly $59,000, Faculty Advisor Dr. Maureen Walls-McKay said Monday. The event had raised more than $51,000 as of Friday afternoon, event organizers cited.

“Each year, the students plan a meaningful 12-hour event that includes energetic performances and powerful remembrances, to include the Survivors Lap, Caregivers Lap, Luminaria Ceremony, and speakers. (Forty-eight) teams, with 812 registered students, faculty, and staff participated in the event,” Walls-McKay, who has served as faculty advisor for the relay for more than a decade, said in a statement Monday. “I am extremely proud as the Longwood Lancers continue to be such active and engaged citizens who are striving to eradicate cancer.”

For Gene Walter, a volunteer from Powhatan who has taken part in relay events at Longwood and in Cumberland/ Goochland counties, Relay for Life is a way for him to remember a friend who passed away from cancer in 2006. “It’s really important to me,” Walter said, who started taking part in relays after his friend’s death. He set a goal to walk 100 miles during relays each year.

He said Friday he was set to walk his 1,000th mile since he began participating in Relay for Life.

Amy Beatson, director of FACES planning and resource development, said the event means celebrating the survival of her friend, Judy Layne, who had cancer, and raising resources to cure cancer. “It’s good these kids are doing this,” Beatson said. Longwoood student organizations have raised thousands through their Relay March Madness program, which took place earlier in the month and raised funds over spring break.